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The report you referenced provided a summary of a 2006 qualitative
research study comprised of a series of structured in-depth interviews
(not a survey) to collect a range of costs associated with a first-time
arrest and conviction for DWI can expect to pay. The costs ranged from
$5,000 to $24,000 depending upon the Texas metropolitan area. For the
Austin area, the costs ranged from $6,000 to $21,000 in fines. As you
point out, because of the qualitative nature of the research methodology
conducted for this study, the report does not offer a definitive amount.
However, given that the research was conducted 5 years ago, and the costs
have likely gone up, not down, I think the 17k is a plausible figure.